Mel’s 10 Things About… Penny Dreadful, season 2

Penny Dreadful (2014 – present)
(Season 2 Cast) Eva Green, Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Harry Treadaway, Reeve Carney, Rory Kinnear, Danny Sapani, Helen McCrory, Billie Piper, Simon Russell Beale, Sarah Greene, Douglas Hodge, Jonny Beauchamp, Hannah Tointon, Patti LuPone

Penny-Dreadful 2

{SPOILERS INCOMING}

1. Not quite as good as season 1, but still bloody excellent! This show is so good that for a while after watching it, I have trouble enjoying other stuff, cause not much is as good!
2. Kinda disappointed they started a new storyline instead of continuing the one they left off. I mean what, are the brothers politely taking turns trying to claim Vanessa?
3. Eva Green is hot. So is Josh Hartnett. Meow.
4. Mrs Poole’s dolls were creepy as hell… right up to the finale, where Vanessa was arguing with her doll. It was supposed to be tense and scary, but unfortunately came off a little silly. It’s really the only really bad thing I can say about the season, though.
5. Speaking of the finale, with each character ending up completely alone, I hope it doesn’t take half of season 3 to reunite them!
6. The whole Angelique sub-plot felt kinda tacked on for no other reason than to shock the audience. I liked her, I did, but it always felt superfluous to the rest of the story.
7. Lily’s big reveal was quite something, very unexpected. A little sad, cause the blossoming love story between her and Victor was super cute, but I suppose no one can stay happy for long in this world.
8. I’m a bit sad that Dorian, whose character I loved in season 1, went so bad so fast. I know he was never a good guy, but I dunno. I just really preferred him in season 1.
9. Loved all of Vanessa’s back story. The episode about her and her mentor was absolutely perfect, start to end.
10. Looking forward to see what Hecate will be up to next. Here’s hoping they don’t just skip to the next story again, and just leave her hanging. I need to find out if Ethan will really be turned bad. I certainly hope not.

If you haven’t seen this show and like all things macabre, then I suggest you put down whatever you’re doing and see it, now! It’s playing in several country’s Netflix, and is also playing on On Demand.

M.

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Mel’s 5 Second TV Review: Penny Dreadful Season 1

Penny Dreadful (2014 – now)
Season 1 cast: Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Eva Green, Harry Treadaway, Reeve Carney, Rory Kinnear, Billie Piper, Danny Sapani, Olivia Llewellyn, Olly Alexander, David Warner, Alex Price, Alun Armstrong

PENNY DREADFUL

So, I haven’t been keeping up to date on TV shows for a long time now. Even shows I love, like Supernatural and Doctor Who, I’ve completely slacked on. Not sure why. I still watch a lot of stuff, but it’s all documentaries and stuff like that. But slowly the fiction bug seems to be creeping back, with me watching more and more movies, and even some TV shows, like this one.

I’d been interested in it since the moment I heard of it (back when it was still in production, I did an article about teen hearthrobs, and Josh Hartnett was on the list), and I told myself I’d watch it when it came out. Of course, I didn’t. But speaking to my mother this weekend, she told me she tried to watch it, but couldn’t because it was too creepy. That immediately piqued my interest, and I just had to watch it.

Disappointingly, season 1 only has 8 episodes, but I absolutely devoured them, doing the whole thing in two sittings. I’d have done it all in one, but it was late, and I had to drive home the next day (3 hour drive), which is always hard on me. The setting and costumes are gorgeous, and the actors seemed perfectly suited for their roles. Even Josh Hartnett, who, despite his beauty, was never the best actor, has upped his game. The characters are all from classic horror, with Dr Frankenstein, Mina Harker, and a master vampire who has to be Dracula (but we still haven’t met him yet) rounding out the cast. And the story, there’s definitely no slouching in that department either, wonderfully complex yet simple at the same time. All said and done, this is, simply, a wonderful, wonderful show. 10/10. I can’t wait for season 2!

This series is currently streaming on Netflix Brazil, and is also on CraveTV. Enjoy!

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Annabelle

Annabelle
(2014) Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Alfre Woodard, Tony Amendola, Eric Ladin, Joseph Bishara

Annabelle film still

Ah, what a sad disappointment this was. Especially since The Conjuring was so good. The doll was massively creepy in that film, but only ugly in this one. Most of the actors were alright, but Annabelle Wallis was downright difficult to watch sometimes, emotionless save for a look on her face that looks like she’s desperately trying to remember her lines. The story was so generic that it almost hurt, and far from being creepy, that demon was just funny. The film had a few good, tense scenes, but on the whole, was mostly a yawn-fest. And it gets an equally dull score from me, a very meh 5/10. Avoid unless you really have a hard on for possessed dolls.

This film is not currently playing on Netflix.

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Deliver Us From Evil

Deliver Us From Evil
(2014) Eric Bana, Édgar Ramírez, Olivia Munn, Sean Harris, Lulu Wilson, Mike Houston, Olivia Horton, Chris Coy, Joel McHale, and Dorian Missick

Deliver-Us-from-Evil

What a great watch this was! I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy it, since great possession films are few and far between these days, but then I saw Scott Derrickson’s name, and I was already sold. I’ve only seen two of his films (The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister), but they’re both incredible. And, to stay true to form in my eyes, this film was no less awesome. It was more tense than scary, but still incredibly well done. I imagine folks who scare easier than I do will find it much, much more frightening. The story was very interesting, just different enough to stay interesting throughout. It boasts the tagline “Inspired by actual events”, which to me means that there was a cop, his family was abducted by an unsub, and… well that’s it. I’m of the same opinion that Bana’s character has at the beginning: we don’t need demons, humanity does well enough on their own. The acting was mostly all top notch, the two leads were especially good. And the priest was almost disturbingly attractive (except when he was pulling on a cig, ick). So all in all, this was a pretty great piece of film, and gets an 8.5/10.

This film is not currently streaming on Netflix, but it is playing on TMN and On Demand. Enjoy!

M.

My Top 50 Horror Films

So, articles like the one you’re about to read are actually one of the biggest reasons that I decided to start blogging in the first place. I love reading Top 10 (or more) lists about all sorts of stuff, but I always get frustrated that a lot of the stuff that I enjoy the most either are low in the lists, or not there at all. And the top spots are often reserved for the same old “classics”, most of which I don’t like. After reading the millionth Top Horror Movies article with movies like The Shining, Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Suspiria and others in the top spots, I decided that I’d make my own blog where I can show people that there are other movies than those in the world, and they’re just as good (or better, even) than those so-called classics.

I also won’t be putting them in exact order, because I just don’t have the patience to sit there and sort them all. I also doubt that I could choose a definitive order to put them in. So what I’ll do is kind of make it a Top 5, each number having a 10-way tie. And those 10 won’t be in any order, either. So with that said, allons-y!! 😀

 

NUMBERS 5

 

Cube

Title: Cube
Released in: 1997
Starring: Maurice Dean Wint, Nicole de Boer, David Hewlett, Nicky Guadagni, Andrew Miller, and Julian Richings
Directed by: Vincenzo Natali
Written by: André Bijelic, Vincenzo Natali, and Graeme Manson
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: Seven strangers awaken to find themselves captive in what seems like an endless cubic maze, each door leading either to safety or a gruesome death.
Why I Love It: A brilliant, character driven film that doesn’t shy away from the atrocities that humanity is capable of in a survival of the fittest kind of environment. And while there are a few gruesome scenes when the prisoners accidentally enter a booby trapped room, the film never goes too far with it. Nothing like buckets of pointless gore to ruin a great film.

 

Jeepers Creepers

Title: Jeepers Creepers
Released in: 2001
Starring: Gina Philips, Justin Long, Jonathan Breck, Patricia Belcher, Brandon Smith, and Eileen Brennan
Directed by: Victor Salva
Written by: Victor Salva
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: Siblings Darry and Trish are driving home together from school when they are followed and attacked by a humanoid creature driving a big, rusty truck who wants to eat them to regenerate its own body parts.
Why I Love It: It’s a slightly ridiculous concept with sometimes shaky acting, but the visuals and effects are great, the villain is suitably creepy, and the whole film just gives off a vibe of great fun. It’s not very scary (to me anyways), but it’s always a good time.

 

Re-Animator

Title: Re-Animator
Released in: 1985
Starring: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, David Gale, and Robert Sampson
Directed by: Stuart Gordon
Written by: Dennis Paoli, William Norris, and Stuart Gordon
Based On: Herbert West, Re-Animator by HP Lovecraft
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A young medical student finds himself in over his head when new student Herbert West arrives with his experiments. Experiments to bring dead flesh back to life.
Why I Love It: This film is totally nuts, start to finish, but it’s got that 80’s horror charm, and Jeffrey Combs is electrifying, eating up the whole screen every time he’s on it. The film also boasts the most uncomfortable-to-watch “sex” scene in the history of film. You’ll spend most of the film not knowing whether to laugh or cringe, but that’s just part of the appeal of this classic gem.

 

Saw

Title: Saw
Released in: 2004
Starring: Cary Elwes, Leigh Whannell, Danny Glover, Ken Leung, Dina Meyer, Monica Potter, and Shawnee Smith
Directed by: James Wan
Written by: Leigh Whannell
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: Two men wake up in an almost empty room, each chained by the foot on opposite ends of the room, with a dead man sprawled on the ground between them. A cassette player informs them that to escape one must kill the other, or saw their own foot off with a provided jigsaw.
Why I Love It: When it first came out, Saw was unlike anything the horror genre had seen in a long time, a real breath of fresh air. It was a wonderful idea, and very well executed, with only a little shaky acting sometimes. Unfortunately, with all the sequels that came after, the Saw name became synonymous with “crap”, and the brilliance of the first film became lost in the sea of awful sequels.

 

The Crazies

Title: The Crazies
Released in: 2010
Starring: Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson, Danielle Panabaker, Christie Lynn Smith, Brett Rickaby, and John Aylward
Directed by: Breck Eisner
Written by: Scott Kosar & Ray Wright
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Remake of 1973’s The Crazies, directed by George A Romero and starring Lane Carroll
5 Second Synopsis: After having their water contaminated, inhabitants of a small town become infected by a virus that makes them incredibly, mindlessly homicidal.
Why I Love It: Despite its rather silly name, this is a great film. I’m not much of a zombie movie fan, so I was reluctant to watch this one, but I was really glad I finally did. It may be classed as a zombie film, but besides a few similarities to the genre, it’s thankfully quite different. No dead people shambling around trying to eat flesh, this film is tense and sometimes scary, with great acting and awesome effects. This isn’t your grandfather’s zombie film :-p

 

The Pit & the Pendulum

Title: The Pit & the Pendulum
Released in: 1991
Starring: Lance Henriksen, Rona de Ricci, Jonathan Fuller, Stephen Lee, Mark Margolis, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, Jeffrey Combs, and Frances Bay
Directed by: Stuart Gordon
Written by: Dennis Paoli
Based On: The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No. While The Pit and the Pendulum has been made into several films, this one isn’t a remake of any particular film.
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: An innocent young woman is arrested for witchcraft and tortured, while the leader of the inquisition, the evil Torquemada, lusts after her.
Why I Love It: I love Poe’s stories and poems, so it’s no surprise that I’d love the films based on his works. The film screams 90’s camp, but that’s hardly a bad thing. Lance Henriksen is wonderfully evil, he really makes the film the little gem that it is.

 

The Relic

Title: The Relic
Released in: 1997
Starring: Penelope Ann Miller, Tom Sizemore, Linda Hunt, James Whitmore, Clayton Rohner, Chi Muoi Lo, Thomas Ryan, and Lewis van Bergen
Directed by: Peter Hyams
Written by: Amy Jones, John Baffo, Rick Jaffa, and Amanda Silver
Based On: Relic by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A detective teams up with an anthropologist when strange murders are committed in a museum, bodies discovered with the hypothalamus of the brain missing. They discover a strange, monstrous creature living beneath the museum, and it seems to need to eat these missing brain pieces.
Why I Love It: Now, I saw this film before reading the book, which is a very, very good thing. If I’d have read the book first, I’d have been very upset, since the main protagonist of the book series (Special Agent Pendergast) isn’t even in the film! But since I saw the film first, I was able to just take it as it was, and I loved it. It was the best monster movie of its time, and still holds up well today. A real fun ride.

 

Thirteen Ghosts

Title: Thirteen Ghosts
Released in: 2001
Starring: Tony Shalhoub, Embeth Davitz, Matthew Lillard, Shannon Elizabeth, Alec Roberts, JR Bourne, Rah Digga, and F Murray Abraham
Directed by: Steve Beck
Written by: Benjamin Carr & Richard D’Ovidio
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Remake of 1960’s 13 Ghosts, directed by William Castle and starring Donald Woods
5 Second Synopsis: When his uncle dies, a man takes his two children and their nanny to visit the house that they inherited. While looking through the gorgeous glass house, they unwittingly release 12 very powerful, very homicidal ghosts.
Why I Love It: I’m not sure why I love this one so much, but I really do. I know it’s far from being a perfect film, but I don’t know, I just have so much fun watching it, and the ghosts are just so cool and well done that it doesn’t matter that half the film doesn’t really make sense, hehe.

 

Underworld

Title: Underworld
Released in: 2003
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Michael Sheen, Shane Brolly, Bill Nighy, Sophia Myles, Erwin Leder, Robby Gee, and Wentworth Miller
Directed by: Len Wiseman
Written by: Danny McBride
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A beautiful vampire warrior allies herself with a newly bitten werewolf when she begins to suspect that the war that has been raging for centuries between their two races is built on lies.
Why I Love It: A whole lot of style with a little substance, but it hardly matters. This film is so fun to watch, so visually pleasing that you can’t help but love it. And the story, while it’s the same old same old rehashed stuff, is just different enough to keep you entertained. And talk about eye candy, my goodness…

 

Warlock

Title: Warlock
Released in: 1989
Starring: Julian Sands, Richard E Grant, Lori Singer, Mary Woronov, and Kevin O’Brien
Directed by: Steve Miner
Written by: David Twohy
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: An evil warlock opens a portal from his time, the 17th century, to the present day to escape execution. A righteous witch-hunter jumps into the portal after him just before it closes, and vows to stop the warlock’s evil for good.
Why I Love It: Julian Sands. Do I really need another reason? Oh, I do? Well, I guess it’s a good thing that the film is so much fun, then! Wonderfully campy and acted better than most movies in its genre, it’s definitely a gem of the 80’s.

 

NUMBERS 4

 

Event Horizon

Title: Event Horizon
Released in: 1997
Starring: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Joely Richardson, Kathleen Quinlan, Jason Isaacs, Jack Noseworthy, Richard T Jones, and Sean Pertwee
Directed by: Paul WS Anderson
Written by: Philip Eisner
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A rescue crew is sent to investigate a ship that has been missing in deep space for years. Once on board, they realize that the abandoned vessel isn’t as empty as they first thought.
Why I Love It: Everything about the film is awesome. Great acting, great effects, great story, and just enough gore to slightly turn your stomach but not enough to just make it a gore-fest (which, you all may know by now, I’m not fond of). Almost 20 years later, it still gives me shivers while watching. A sign of a job well done!

 

Frailty

Title: Frailty
Released in: 2001
Starring: Bill Paxton, Matthew McConaughey, Matt O’Leary, Jeremy Sumpter, and Powers Boothe
Directed by: Bill Paxton
Written by: Brent Hanley
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A man confesses to an FBI agent his family’s story of how his religious fanatic father’s visions lead to a series of murders to destroy supposed “demons.” (Taken from IMDB, I was having a hell of a time trying to make a small synopsis, hehe.)
Why I Love It: It’s absolutely brilliant. Well written, incredibly acted, a wonderfully creepy story with a killer twist, before twists were a dime a dozen. Just wonderful.

 

Ginger Snaps

Title: Ginger Snaps
Released in: 2000
Starring: Katharine Isabelle, Emily Perkins, Kris Lemche, Jesse Moss, Danielle Hampton, John Bourgeois, and Mimi Rogers
Directed by: John Fawcett
Written by: Karen Walton
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After being attacked by a large, furry creature on the night of a full moon, teenager Ginger and her sister Brigitte are on the lookout for clues that she is turning into a werewolf.
Why I Love It: It’s fun, it’s bloody, it’s smartly written, well acted and has cool practical effects. Werewolf films are hard to do without getting schlocky, but Ginger Snaps manages just fine. Also, Katharine Isabelle is a fox. And she loves making horror films, good news for us pervy horror fans! 😉

 

Idle Hands

Title: Idle Hands
Released in: 1999
Starring: Devon Sawa, Seth Green, Jessica Alba, Elden Henson, Vivica A Fox, Jack Noseworthy, Katie Wright, and Christopher Hart’s hand
Directed by: Rodman Flender
Written by: Terri Hughes & Ron Milbauer
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A stoner’s hand becomes possessed by an evil spirit and it kills his two best friends. To try stop the killing, he chops his hand off but, much to his chagrin, it just keeps moving and escapes his house to go wreak havoc at a school Halloween dance.
Why I Love It: Despite its silly subject matter, this film is actually quite good. Laugh out loud funny with awesome special effects (that still hold up today), it’s a great popcorn movie. Plus, Devon Sawa. Total 90’s babe. Meow.

 

Near Dark

Title: Near Dark
Released in: 1987
Starring: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, Jenette Goldstein, Joshua John Miller, and Tom Thomerson
Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow
Written by: Kathryn Bigelow & Eric Red
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After being bit by a beautiful vampire, a young man is given an ultimatum by her “family”: make a kill within a week, or die. When he realizes he can’t kill, he and the girl run off, with her family in hot pursuit.
Why I Love It: I saw this for the first time as a teenager, and it had everything a teenage girl could possibly want. Romance, eye candy, and lots and lots of blood. Oh yeah 😀

 

Repo! The Genetic Opera

Title: Repo! The Genetic Opera
Released in: 2008
Starring: Alexa Vega, Anthony Stewart Head, Paul Sorvino, Terrance Zdunich, Sarah Brightman, Paris Hilton, Bill Moseley, and Nivek Ogre
Directed by: Darren Lynn Bousman
Written by: Terrance Zdunich & Darren Smith
Based On: Their play of the same name.
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: Set in a future where surgery has become a fashion statement, a chronically ill teen longs for the outside world. When she finally gets her wish, she’s quick to notice that not everything in her life is as it seems.
Why I Love It: A goth musical? With Sarah Brightman, Ogre, and Giles? How the heck could I not love it?? Great songs, great performances (even Paris! *gasp!*), and killer costumes, this was an instant cult classic. So much fun.

 

Signs

Title: Signs
Released in: 2002
Starring: Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin, Cherry Jones, and Patricia Kalember
Directed by: M Night Shyamalan
Written by: M Night Shyamalan
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A preacher and his family find giant crop circles in their corn. Then they, and the rest of the world, come to realize that this time, it’s no hoax.
Why I Love It: A lot of people say that this was the beginning of the end for Shyamalan’s films, but I really liked this one. Yes, there’s a lot of self indulgent bullshit, but there’s a lot of great, tense moments, too, which more than make up for it.

 

Sinister

Title: Sinister
Released in: 2012
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Fred Dalton Thompson, James Ransone, Michael Hall D’Addario, Clare Foley, and Nick King
Directed by: Scott Derrickson
Written by: Scott Derrickson & C Robert Cargill
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A true crime writer moves his family into a house where a horrific quadruple murder took place. He finds old reels of home video in the attic that leads him to believe that these murders were just one in a string of horrifying serial murders, taking place as far back as the 60’s.
Why I Love It: This is an excellent piece of film. Well acted, well written, awesomely atmospheric. Us horror fans are blessed that an actor of Ethan Hawke’s caliber loves doing horror films. But before you write this off as “just another ghost story”, think again. It’d probably have been higher on the list, but I’ve only seen it once, and so many others are higher simply for being loved longer, hehe.

 

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Title: The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Released in: 2005
Starring: Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson, Jennifer Carpenter, Campbell Scott, Colm Feore, Joshua Close, Kenneth Welsh, Duncan Fraser, and Mary Beth Hurt
Directed by: Scott Derrickson
Written by: Paul Harris Boardman & Scott Derrickson
Based On: A true story
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A tough lawyer takes on the case of a priest who is accused of negligent homicide after the death of a young woman on whom he had performed an exorcism.
Why I Love It: Exorcism movies, I find, are either amazing, or they’re crappy. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground. This one is amazing. You wouldn’t think a courtroom drama and exorcism horror would mesh well together in the same film, but they really do. I don’t believe for a moment that this is actually a true story (not the possession part anyways, the exorcism and trial were real enough, though), but it’s captivating, and all the acting is wonderful, especially from Dexter actress Jennifer Carpenter.

 

The Exorcist III

Title: The Exorcist III
Released in: 1990
Starring: George C Scott, Ed Flanders, Brad Dourif, Jason Miller, Nicol Williamson, Scott Wilson, Nancy Fish, and George DiCenzo
Directed by: William Peter Blatty
Written by: William Peter Blatty
Based On: Legion by William Peter Blatty
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Sequel to 1973’s The Exorcist, directed by William Friedkin and starring Linda Blair.
5 Second Synopsis: As a police lieutenant mourns on the anniversary of his friend’s death (Father Karras, from the first film), a serial killer strikes whose MO is eerily similar to a killer’s who’s been dead for 15 years.
Why I Love It: This is the sequel that The Exorcist should of had, instead of the abomination that was made (seriously, what the hell was that??) It’s a great story, and has real scares, with none of the camp that 90’s horror was so famous for. A real, under-rated gem.

 

NUMBERS 3

 

Constantine

Title: Constantine
Released in: 2005
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Rachael Weisz, Shia LeBoeuf, Tilda Swinton, Djimon Hounsou, Gavin Rossdale, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Max Baker, and Peter Stormare
Directed by: Francis Lawrence
Written by: Kevin Brodbin & Frank A Cappello
Based On: Hellblazer by Jamie Delano & Garth Ennis
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A supernatural detective stumbles on a world-ending plot while ridding the world of demons.
Why I Love It: I won’t try give credit where none is due, Keanu Reeves is still a pretty bad actor. And yet this movie is awesome. The film doesn’t follow the books very closely (but that’s ok with me since I didn’t enjoy them all that much anyways). But the story is great, the effects are amazing, and the supporting cast is very strong, giving poor Keanu all the help he needs.

 

Dracula 2000

Title: Dracula 2000
Released in: 2000
Starring: Gerard Butler, Justine Waddell, Jonny Lee Miller, Christopher Plummer, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Esposito, Omar Epps, Jeri Ryan, and Nathan Fillion
Directed by: Patrick Lussier
Written by: Joel Soisson
Based On: Characters created by Bram Stoker
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No. The Dracula story has been told in countless films, but this film, while based on the same story as all the others, is its own film, not based on its predecessors.
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: In modern-day London, the long-entrapped Count Dracula is unwittingly released by thieves, and goes to New Orleans to find the one born of his blood, Mary Van Helsing.
Why I Love It: It’s fun, hip, relatively well acted, and has a neat new idea for the identity of everyone’s favourite Count. Gerard Butler turns in a mesmerizing performance, it remains one of my very favourite on-screen vampire portrayals of all time. And he’s so sexy in this. So very, very sexy…. mmmmmmm… *snaps out of it* Ok, I’m done, sorry :-p

 

From Dusk Till Dawn

Title: From Dusk Till Dawn
Released in: 1996
Starring: George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Ernest Liu, Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Tom Savini, and Ted Williamson
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Written by: Quentin Tarantino
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: Two brothers on the run from the law take a father with his two kids hostage to sneak across the border into Mexico in their RV. Once there, they hole up in a brothel for the night to await a contact. Little do they know that this brothel is also a vampire nest, and they’re going to have to fight through the night if they want to survive.
Why I Love It: What not to love about this film? Badass characters, hyper-violence, buckets of blood, and lots of boobage, this movie is a ton and a half of fun, while still boasting a solid cast of good actors, and killer practical effects. Grab the popcorn and have a blast!

 

Identity

Title: Identity
Released in: 2003
Starring: John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, John Hawkes, Alfred Molina, Clea DuVall, John C McGinley, William Lee Scott, Jake Busey, and Pruitt Taylor Vince
Directed by: James Mangold
Written by: Michael Cooney
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A group of strangers gets trapped in a small motel while a storm floods the roads. Elsewhere, a doctor awaits the arrival of his patient, who is on death row and is to be executed the next day.
Why I Love It: Despite some rather shaky acting from some of the smaller cast members, this film is amazing. Good acting from the core actors, awesome story that’ll keep you guessing till the very end, and a killer twist that actually makes sense. I’d have preferred the last 2 minutes to be cut from the film, though, I find it kinda cheapens the whole thing, which is why I gave it 9 stars instead of 10.

 

Queen of the Damned

Title: Queen of the Damned
Released in: 2002
Starring: Stuart Townsend, Aaliyah, Marguerite Moreau, Vincent Perez, Paul McGann, Lena Olin, and Matthew Newton
Directed by: Michael Rymer
Written by: Scott Abbott & Michael Patroni
Based On: The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Sequel to 1994’s Interview with the Vampire, directed by Neil Jordan and starring Brad Pitt.
5 Second Synopsis: A long-sleeping vampire wakes when a bold and arrogant younger vampire decides to start a rock band, and divulges “vampire secrets” in his lyrics.
Why I Love It: The acting is pretty shaky, the story is so far from Anne Rice’s original idea that it probably shouldn’t be allowed to claim to be based on her books, it’s full of clichés, and yet I love it. And nothing anyone can say will change my mind. Trust me, people have tried :-p

 

Stir of Echoes

Title: Stir of Echoes
Released in: 1999
Starring: Kevin Bacon, Kathryn Erbe, Illeana Douglas, Zachary David Cope, Kevin Dunn, Conor O’Farrell, and Jennifer Morrison
Directed by: David Koepp
Written by: David Koepp
Based On: A Stir of Echoes by Richard Matheson
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After being hypnotized, a family man starts to unravel after he starts seeing cryptic messages from a ghostly girl.
Why I Love It: Wonderfully acted, creepy and atmospheric, and well written, this is an almost perfect ghost story.

 

The Exorcist

Title: The Exorcist
Released in: 1973
Starring: Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller, Max Von Sydow, Lee J Cobb, William O’Malley, and Mercedes McCambridge
Directed by: William Friedkin
Written by: William Peter Blatty
Based On: The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, a true story
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After playing with a Ouija board, a young girl is possessed by a malevolent demon. Her mother begs a priest to perform an exorcism to save her.
Why I Love It: Just the right amount of body horror with psychological terror, this is one of the original greats. Saw it for the first time when I was 16, and it still scares me today. A true classic.

 

The Last Man on Earth

Title: The Last Man on Earth
Released in: 1964
Starring: Vincent Price, Franca Bettoia, and Giacomo Rossi-Stuart
Directed by: Ubaldo Ragona
Written by: William F Leicester & Richard Matheson
Based On: I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After an epidemic sweeps the globe and turns everyone into blood-sucking monsters, a lone survivor searches for a cure, while killing as many of the monsters as he can.
Why I Love It: Vincent Price, Richard Matheson, and vampires? Of course I love it! No other reason is necessary! 😀

 

The Mummy

Title: The Mummy
Released in: 1999
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Rachael Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Kevin J O’Connor, Oded Fehr, Jonathan Hyde, and Patricia Velasquez
Directed by: Stephen Sommers
Written by: Stephen Sommers
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Reimagining of 1932’s The Mummy, directed by Karl Freund and starring Boris Karloff
5 Second Synopsis: Adventurers looking for treasure and artifacts on an ancient Egyptian site accidentally awaken an evil mummy that had been buried for thousands of years.
Why I Love It: I love anything to do with ancient Egypt, supernatural or otherwise, so it was a given that I’d love this one. Thankfully, it also happens to be great fun to watch.

 

The Stand

Title: The Stand
Released in: 1994
Starring: Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Jamey Sheridan, Adam Storke, Laura San Giacomo, Ruby Dee, Rob Lowe, Corin Nemec, Matt Frewer, Miguel Ferrer, and Ray Walston
Directed by: Mick Garris
Written by: Stephen King
Based On: The Stand by Stephen King
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After a man-made super flu kills 99% of the people on earth, the survivors band together into two groups, one drawn by dreams of a kind old lady, the others by an evil man.
Why I Love It: I saw this at 13 when it first aired on tv, and I hadn’t read the book yet, which was probably a good thing, since it allowed me to love the mini-series, and not continuously compare it to the book. When I read the book a few years later, I was amazed at how much extra stuff was in it, but my love of the show was already cemented, hehe. It’s hopelessly dated, but it’s still a fun watch.

 

NUMBERS 2

 

Aliens

Title: Aliens
Released in: 1986
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, Jenette Goldstein, and William Hope
Directed by: James Cameron
Written by: James Cameron
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Sequel to 1979’s Alien, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Sigourney Weaver.
5 Second Synopsis: The sole survivor from the first film assists a tough group of space marines in containing the Xenomorph threat, while a malevolent company wants the alien offspring captured alive. Naturally, stuff goes very wrong.
Why I Love It: Do I really have to explain myself? A definite success in the merging of sci-fi and horror genres, it was, and remains, one of the best films of its genre. Everything was done so well that it’s easy to forget that the film wasn’t made recently, but rather almost 30 years ago. A sign of a job well done!

 

Beetlejuice

Title: Beetlejuice
Released in: 1988
Starring: Michael Keeton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara, Jeffrey Jones, and Glenn Shadix
Directed by: Tim Burton
Written by: Michael McDowell & Warren Skaaren
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After a young couple tragically dies in an accident, they’re told that they will have to “haunt” their house for quite a few number of years. When a new family moves in and start making changes to their beloved home, they contact a “bio-exorcist” to make them leave.
Why I Love It: This film almost didn’t make the list at all, since I wasn’t sure if I should include it in a horror list, but it’s so awesome that I decided to go ahead and add it. Wickedly funny with awesome practical effects, this has been one of my favourites since I was a kid.

 

Cabin in the Woods

Title: The Cabin in the Woods
Released in: 2012
Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Anna Hutchison, Bradley Whitford, Richard Jenkins, Amy Acker, Jodelle Ferland, and Sigourney Weaver
Directed by: Drew Goddard
Written by: Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods for some R&R. Meanwhile, a government office seems to be preparing for something that involves the group. And that’s pretty much all I can say without giving spoilers, just in case there are still a few horror fans who haven’t seen this.
Why I Love It: “Written by Joss Whedon” was all I needed to see to convince me to go see it. It was so much fun, so tongue-in-cheek, that’s impossible to not love it. There are so many winks to so many horror films and tropes that even after multiple viewings, there’s always something I didn’t notice ‘last time’. Just awesome.

 

Dracula

Title: Dracula
Released in: 1992
Starring: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, Sadie Frost, Cary Elwes, Richard E Grant, Tom Waits, and Monica Bellucci
Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
Written by: James V Hart
Based On: Dracula by Bram Stoker
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No. The Dracula story has been told in countless films, but this film, while based on the same story as all the others, is its own film, not based on its predecessors, and is actually closer to the book than the rest.
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After seeing a photograph of a woman who resembles his long-dead wife, a centuries old vampire travels to England to find her.
Why I Love It: I don’t really think I need to explain why I love this film, hehe. The only thing that’s not perfect is Keanu Reeves’ acting :-p

 

House on Haunted Hill

Title: House on Haunted Hill
Released in: 1999
Starring: Geoffrey Rush, Famke Janssen, Ali Larter, Taye Diggs, Peter Gallagher, Chris Kattan, Bridgette Wilson, Max Perlich, and Jeffrey Combs
Directed by: William Malone
Written by: Dick Beebe
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Remake of 1959’s House on Haunted Hill, directed by William Castle and starring Vincent Price.
5 Second Synopsis: An eccentric millionaire offers a million dollars to one of four guests if they can survive the night in a supposedly haunted mansion, which used to be an asylum with a horrifying past.
Why I Love It: Such a fun film that doesn’t rely on jump scares to creep you out. I absolutely love this one. Strong acting, strong writing, and a superbly creepy setting make this film step ahead of a lot of others in its genre.

 

It

Title: It
Released in: 1990
Starring: Tim Curry, Richard Thomas, Jonathan Brandis, Annette O’Toole, Emily Perkins, Harry Anderson, Seth Green, Dennis Christopher, and John Ritter
Directed by: Tommy Lee Wallace
Written by: Tommy Lee Wallace & Stephen King
Based On: It by Stephen King
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: In 1960, seven outcast kids known as ‘The Losers Club’ fight an evil child-eating demon who poses as a clown. 30 years later, they are called back to fight the same clown again. (from IMDB)
Why I Love It: I watched this when it came out,which meant I was 9 years old. Pennywise traumatized the crap out of me, and I’ve hated clowns ever since. But despite all this, I loved it, and still do. I’m not sure I’d have liked it so much had I seen it for the first time now, because it absolutely screams early 90’s, so I guess it’s a good thing I saw it way back then, hehe.

 

Pitch Black

Title: Pitch Black
Released in: 2000
Starring: Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, Claudia Black, Rhiana Griffith, Keith David, Lewis Fitz-Gerald, and Simon Burke
Directed by: David Twohy
Written by: Jim Wheat, Ken Wheat, and David Twohy
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A cargo ship carrying a dangerous fugitive crashes on a planet that is always bright. When the sun finally goes down, though, the survivors realize that they are not alone.
Why I Love It: I can’t really explain why I love this one so much. It should have just been a generic crash-land-on-dangerous-planet thing, and yet just because all components were slightly better than usual, it made this film a total gem. At least to me, hehe.

 

Stigmata

Title: Stigmata
Released in: 1999
Starring: Patricia Arquette, Gabriel Byrne, Jonathan Pryce, Nia Long, Thomas Kopache, Rade Serbedzija, Enrico Colantoni, and Dick Latessa
Directed by: Rupert Wainwright
Written by: Tom Lazarus & Rick Ramage
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A young woman is plagued with vicious bouts of stigmata, the wounds of Jesus Christ while being crucified, after receiving a rosary from her mother from Brazil. A priest from the Vatican is sent to investigate.
Why I Love It: I’m usually not big on religious stories, but this one spends more time on the characters, and less time being preachy, and so I enjoyed it very much. The story is great, most of the acting is great, and Gabriel Byrne is a stone-cold fox. Three great reasons to love it, hehehe.

 

The Eye

Title: Gin Gwai (The Eye)
Released in: 2002
Starring: Lee Sin-Je, Lawrence Chou, Candy Lo, Yut Lai So, Edmund Chen, Chutcha Rujinanon, Sue Yuen Wang, Pierre Png, and Yin Ping Ko
Directed by: The Pang Brothers
Written by: Oxide Pang, Danny Pang, and Yuet-Jan Hui
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A young woman, blind from birth, gets cornea transplants, allowing her to finally see. But she soon realizes that her new eyes see much more than everyone else.
Why I Love It: Asian films are often too weird for me to enjoy, but when they get it right, they get it damn right. The acting, effects, and atmosphere are all stupendous. A definite gem, express from Hong Kong.

 

The Woman in Black

Title: The Woman in Black
Released in: 2012
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds, Janet McTeer, Liz White, Shaun Dooley, Mary Stockley, Roger Allam, Jessica Raine, Sophie Stuckey, and Misha Handley
Directed by: James Watkins
Written by: Jane Goldman
Based On: The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Remake of 1989’s The Woman in Black, directed by Herbert Wise and starring Adrian Rawlins.
5 Second Synopsis: A young, widowed lawyer is sent to close the estate of an old woman who just passed away. While getting her affairs in order in her manor, he is plagued by an evil presence that brings a horrible end to some of the towns’ children.
Why I Love It: Superbly acted and creepily atmospheric, this film was a masterpiece. Young Daniel upped his game for this role, and he did a wonderful job. It’s hard to be in a film with so little dialogue and still be entertaining, but he, and the rest of the cast, managed beautifully. In my opinion, it’s one of the finest films to come out of the horror genre in the last 15 years. The only reason it’s not in the number ones is because all the films up there (save one) are long-time favourites.

 

And now, for the best of the best, my very favourites, the top 10 horror films that I strongly suggest everyone see, even those people who don’t really care for horror. As usual, these aren’t in any order, it’s a 10-way tie for the number 1 slot, hehe. There’s only one recent film, one from 2002, two from 1999, and then the rest are 1994 and earlier. But, like I said in my intro, you won’t be seeing hardly any of the ‘usuals’ in this spot. My number one spot(s) is reserved for films that are actually good 😉 So, without any further ado, here are my-

 

NUMBERS 1

 

Fright Night

Title: Fright Night
Released in: 1985
Starring: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse, Roddy McDowall, Stephen Geoffreys, Jonathan Stark, Dorothy Fielding, and Art Evans
Directed by: Tom Holland
Written by: Tom Holland
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A teen becomes suspicious of his new neighbour when bodies of young women are found dumped in trash bags. He soon realizes the suave, handsome man is an evil vampire, and he tries to enlist the help of a tv vampire slayer to stop him.
Why I Love It: One of the original great horror-comedies, this film is fun, campy, and scary. The actors are perfect in their roles, especially Chris Sarandon as the evil yet seductive Jerry Dandridge. The remake, while nowhere near as good as this one, is still worth a gander.

 

Interview with the Vampire

Title: Interview with the Vampire
Released in: 1994
Starring: Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst, Antonio Banderas, Christian Slater, Stephen Rea, Domiziana Giordano, Indra Ové, and Thandie Newton
Directed by: Neil Jordan
Written by: Anne Rice
Based On: Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A young man who has lost his wife and baby in childbirth is offered immortality by a charming but ruthless vampire. We follow him through his centuries of life as he tells his story to a young writer.
Why I Love It: So beautiful and sumptuous. Incredibly acted and written, it follows the book quite closely (which is to be expected when it’s the author who writes the screenplay). A lot of the actors don’t look like their book counterparts, but the movie is so well done that I was able to forgive this.

 

noes

Title: A Nightmare on Elm Street
Released in: 1984
Starring: Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Johnny Depp, Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri, Charles Fleischer, John Saxon, and Ronee Blakley
Directed by: Wes Craven
Written by: Wes Craven
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: In the dreams of his victims, a spectral child murderer stalks the children of the members of the lynch mob that killed him. (From IMDB)
Why I Love It: This was the very first horror movie I ever saw, even before The Lost Boys, which means I was just a wee thing (only 3 or 4 years old) when I saw it. And it’s stuck with me ever since, still one of my top 10 favourites, even with the sometimes laughable acting and effects. When a movie is this good, lots of stuff can be over-looked! hehe

 

Poltergeist

Title: Poltergeist
Released in: 1982
Starring: Craig T Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Beatrice Straight, Heather O’Rourke, Dominique Dunne, Oliver Robins, Martin Casella, and Zelda Rubinstein
Directed by: Tobe Hooper
Written by: Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais, and Mark Victor
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A young family are visited by ghosts in their home. At first the ghosts appear friendly, moving objects around the house to the amusement of everyone, then they turn nasty and start to terrorize the family before they kidnap the youngest daughter. (from IMDB)
Why I Love It: An absolute classic of the genre, it’s still one of the very best haunted house films ever made, even 32 years later.

 

Sleepy Hollow

Title: Sleepy Hollow
Released in: 1999
Starring: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambon, Jeffrey Jones, Casper van Dien, Richard Griffiths, Michael Gough, Marc Pickering, Lisa Marie, Ian McDiarmid and Christopher Walken
Directed by: Tim Burton
Written by: Andrew Kevin Walker
Based On: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A slightly eccentric Constable is sent to the small town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate killings that the locals are sure were committed by a ghostly headless horseman.
Why I Love It: This is Burton and Depp at their very best, when the creative mojo was still mojoing, and they were still making terrific pictures together. The scenery is dark and brooding, the characters are all captivating, and Johnny Depp is, of course, absolutely gorgeous. Simply wonderful.

 

The Conjuring

Title: The Conjuring
Released in: 2013
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston, Shanley Caswell, Hayley McFarland, Joey King, Mackenzie Foy, Kyla Deaver, Shannon Kook, John Brotherton and Joseph Bishara
Directed by: James Wan
Written by: Chad Hayes & Carey Hayes
Based On: The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren by Gerald Brittle, a true story.
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: When the strange occurrences in their new home become more frequent and violent, a family of seven asks a husband and wife team of paranormal investigators to help them.
Why I Love It: The most recent film in my whole list, and yet it blew right to one of the top spots almost immediately. Everything in this film is perfect. All the actors are in excellent form, the writing and directing are phenomenal, and it’s more than just a little scary. Not many recent films have this kind of power and atmosphere. If you haven’t seen this yet, I highly reccomend that you drop everything and go watch it right now!! 😉

 

The Lost Boys

Title: The Lost Boys
Released in: 1987
Starring: Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Keifer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman, Dianne Wiest, Barnard Hughes, Edward Herrmann, Jamison Newlander, Alex Winter, Billy Wirth, Brooke McCarter, Chance Michael Corbitt, Folsom the Dog, and Cody the Dog
Directed by: Joel Schumacher
Written by: Jan Fischer, James Jeremias, and Jeffrey Boam
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: When brothers Sam and Michael move to a new town after their parents divorce, they quickly realize that the town is over-run by vampires. Sam gets help from self-appointed vampire slayers, but for Michael it may be too late…
Why I Love It: It was the first vampire movie I ever saw, and was the beginning of a life-long love affair with all things that go bump in the night. The story isn’t really anything new (I’m not even sure there’s any original ideas left anywhere), but the ride is so fun that it doesn’t matter. Their vampires are the ‘real’ deal; they’re strong, fast, sexy and oh so evil, just the way vamps aught to be, hehe.

 

The Ring

Title: The Ring
Released in: 2002
Starring: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, David Dorfman, Brian Cox, Jane Alexander, Lindsay Frost, Amber Tamblyn, Shannon Cochran, and Daveigh Chase
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Written by: Ehren Kruger
Based On: Ringu (Ring) by Kôji Suzuki
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Remake of 1998’s Ringu, directed by Hideo Nakata and starring Nanako Matsushima.
5 Second Synopsis: After her niece dies under mysterious circumstances, a journalist promises her sister she will investigate the death. What she finds is a cassette tape that kills you in seven days if you watch it. With the clock ticking, she must figure out what the spirit in the tape wants, or else die like everyone else who has seen it.
Why I Love It: It doesn’t happen very often that a remake is better than the original, but this happens to be one such instance. Despite the dated nature of some of the plot points (does anyone even own vhs anymore? lol), this film is still immensely watchable and creepy, even 12 years later. Everything is wonderful, acting, effects, writing, everything. Not just one of my favourite horror movies, it’s one of my favourite movies, period.

 

The Silence of the Lambs

Title: The Silence of the Lambs
Released in: 1991
Starring: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine, Anthony Heald, Frankie Faison, Brooke Smith, Lawrence T Wrentz, and Diane Baker
Directed by: Jonathan Demme
Written by: Ted Tally
Based On: The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A young FBI rookie is sent to ask the help of brilliant cannibalistic killer Dr Hannibal Lecter in catching another killer who kidnaps his victims, holds them for many days, then skins them to make a “woman suit”.
Why I Love It: I love serial killers. I’ve got this weird, morbid fascination with them. I watch a lot of true crime stuff, read true crime books, and of course, I love serial killer fiction as well. And this film, even after so much time, is still the best of the best. Hannibal Lecter and Buffalo Bill are still two of the creepiest serial killers ever to be captured on film, and it’s still, to my knowledge, the only horror film not only to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture, but to win it. And it was very much earned.

 

The Sixth Sense

Title: The Sixth Sense
Released in: 1999
Starring: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams, Trevor Morgan, Mischa Barton, and Donnie Wahlberg
Directed by: M Night Shyamalan
Written by: M Night Shyamalan
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A boy who communicates with spirits that don’t know they’re dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist. (from IMDB)
Why I Love It: I do love me a good old haunting. I remember when I saw this for the first time. I went to see it at the cinema with my cousin. And we were both so blown away by that ending, we went back to see it again right after, just to see if we could spot any mistakes that would have the twist make no sense. We couldn’t. And thankfully, unlike a lot of films with such twists, this film is so good that even knowing what’s going to happen doesn’t take any enjoyment away from the film.

 

PHEW!! That’s it! I’m finally done!! I hope you guys really enjoy this article, it took me more than 3 weeks to complete! (Not working at it full time, obviously, but still!) I had loads of fun making it, and I hope you have as much fun reading it.

Thanks for coming by, and stay tuned for more! (I’ll try my best to return to a more regular posting schedule 🙂 ).

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Cujo

Cujo
(1983) Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, Daniel Hugh Kelly, and Christopher Stone

Image

Cujo, the book, was awesome and scary and tense. A brilliant read. Cujo, the movie, bored me to tears. I almost fell asleep. When the majority of what’s written in the book is happening inside the character’s head, that’s a good indication that it probably won’t be a great movie. It was 93 minutes long, but it felt like 3 hours. If I’m lucky, I won’t ever have to watch this again. 1/10, and that’s just because I love Stephen King.

This film is not streaming on Netflix, but I imagine that you could rent it in a real video store, if you care to be bored.

Oh, here, I found the full film on YouTube… in German. It may be better like that. Enjoy ;-p

 

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Introduction and Hellraiser

So, I figured I’d try out a regular, daily post. But since I don’t want to spend hours on it every single day, I needed it to be something that I could do quickly, but would still be interesting. So I decided to review movies. Movies from any year, not just the new releases. It could be a film as old as film itself, or it could be a film that was released yesterday. The only rule is that it shouldn’t take you any longer than a minute to read, a minute or less. Hence the title: 5 Second Review. Of course I know a minute is longer than 5 seconds, but really, who needs to be so literal in life? For my first review, I’m going for a film that I’ve done nothing but bash since the first time saw it, more than 10 years ago; Hellraiser, based on the Clive Barker masterpiece, The Hellbound Heart.

Hellraiser
(1987) Ashley Laurence, Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Sean Chapman, Doug Bradley, Oliver Smith and Robert Hines

Image

Alright, so I have to admit it, Hellraiser is nowhere near as bad as I remember. That said, it’s still not the masterpiece everyone heralds it as. It’s, simply, a good movie. Although why they turned Kirsty into Larry’s daughter instead of being his ex is beyond me. It added nothing to the story. And why is he called Larry, anyways? His name was Rory. Also, I think they should have had the Cenobytes respect their bargain with Kirsty, as they did in the book, instead of trying to take her too. They may be demons, but they had their own sort of honour. Hopefully the remake will stick even closer to the book. In case you’ve never seen it, I do recommend it for any fans of the horror genre, and since I’m so nice, I found a full copy for you to watch. Aren’t I sweet?

And that’s today’s 5 Second Review. I’ll keep them coming every day from now on. Hope you enjoy, and stay tuned for more!

M.

The Dirty Dozen (aka The Worst Horror Movies Ever Made)

So, I hadn’t originally intended for this entry to be about horror films. This was supposed to be a “worst movies” list, period, not just horror. But after I was done making the list, I realized that every single film on it was horror. Horror’s a very special kind of genre, home to not only some of the very best film has to offer, but some of the very worst as well. It’s that kind of genre that, when done well, is absolutely perfect, chilling and able to get the old adrenaline pumping. But when done wrong, as it lamentably often is, it’s sometimes spectacularly awful. Now, I haven’t seen all the horror films in the world, so I can’t speak for the volumes and volumes of crap that I’m sure is out there. I generally stay away from stuff that looks like it’s going to be horrible, so I can spare myself the horror of having to sit through something like, say, Troll 2. Also, a word of warning: I will be crapping all over some people’s favorite films, so if you can’t handle that, there’s the door *points to the browser’s X*. There’s no particular order to the films in the list, either. They all suck, so putting them in order of suckiness just seems a little redundant.

 

The ABC’s of Death

the-abcs-of-death

If I were taking the time to put all the films in order of suckiness, I’d have to put this one at the top (or would that be bottom?) because it truly is a colossal piece of shit. The idea was cool: 26 different directors got a letter of the alphabet, and they have to make a short horror film about a word that starts with that letter (A is for Apocalypse, B is for Bigfoot, C is for Cycle, etc). Unfortunately, there isn’t a single good segment of the whole thing. I sat through the whole thing, but I admit to fast forwarding through a good part of the segments. If a 5 minute film isn’t good within the first 2, chances are doubtful that it’ll get any better.

 

Night Watch (Nochnoi Dozor)

night watch

This was one of the biggest disappointments on this list. By this I mean I was really looking forward to seeing the movie, and when I was finally able to, it sucked so hard that it almost made me cry. It’s based on the novel of the same title by Russian author Sergei Lukyanenko, and the book is marvelous. It’s got awesome new twists to add to the horror genre, the writing was great, as was the story. When I heard they were making a film of the books, I was super excited, and the trailer looked awesome. Imagine my surprise when I was finally able to watch the damned thing and it sucks. Like sucks bad. The story was very different and the acting… oh my god, the acting. The scene where our hero sees the girl for the first time on the train was so spectacularly bad that I just laughed. I made it about halfway through before I gave up.

 

Mirrors

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It took me a while to finally rent this film when it came out because I hate mirrors. There are none in my house except for the one in the bathroom, and the small one on a pedestal in the office I use for makeup. They make me so uncomfortable that I even have trouble sleeping if there’s a naked mirror in the room. All this to say that I was already afraid of this film before I saw it. Eventually, I collected all my nerves, and put it in the machine. And then my fear turned to boredom, very very quickly. And it’s too bad, because the idea was interesting (a malevolent force hiding in the mirrors, using reflections to cause harm, insanity, even death), but the film itself was just so very dull. It’s got a few cool visual effects, but other than that, this film is a total dud.

 

House of the Dead

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I’ve never openly scorned a film, loudly, in a cinema before this one. But I felt I had to join in the chorus all around me. The only reason I didn’t demand a refund is that I didn’t pay for this. I feel sorry for anyone that did. This film should be the course material for a class called “How to Fail at Movie-Making 101”. Implausible story (even for a story including the living dead), completely unlikable cast, boring action and on top of it all everyone is so dumb that you wonder how they made it this far in life without loosing a limb or some other vital thing. Once one of the characters laments his life being over after getting a scratch on his cheek (oh, no, my beauty! Why didn’t they kill me??), that was it for me. Much booing and throwing of popcorn happened after that.

 

House of 1000 Corpses

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So Rob Zombie‘s making a movie?? That’ll be awesome!! *puts it in the dvd player* Oh, I’m sure it just starts slow… *waits* Any time now… *waits more* Oh look, gore… *waits* And, oh, more gore… *sighs* Maybe I’ve got some email to check… oh look, it’s over.

 

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

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I know a lot of people love this film and consider it one of the great classics. What I don’t know is WHY. There is nothing special about this film, at all. It’s slow, badly acted and, really, just plain boring. I sat there feeling I’d have more fun getting a lobotomy than watching this movie. No, I didn’t see it when it came out (mostly because I wasn’t alive yet) so I didn’t get that atmosphere that came with it, I guess, that this was something new and shocking to see at the cinema. But still, I doubt that would have changed my enjoyment (or lack thereof) in the movie.

 

Halloween

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Another entry sure to furrow a few brows (furrow? Is that even a word? Anyways…) Again, I have no idea why this one is considered a classic. Maybe it was a 70’s thing? Boring horror movies were bitchin’? I appreciate movies with a nice slow burn, but at some point, preferably before the last 10 minutes, something has to happen. This movie bored me so much, I think I got some permanent brain damage…

 

The Blair Witch Project

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Blair Witch Project was brilliant in so many ways. It was well thought out, a great idea, well marketed and groundbreaking. That being said, I hated it. I don’t know if I would have liked it more had I seen it not knowing it was fake. I sat there watching, waiting, hoping it would get better, and when it ended with never having done anything, I threw my remaining popcorn at the tv. I’ve seen a lot of horror films in my day. Like A LOT. And not many of them bored me quite as much as Blair Witch did.

 

The Shining

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Oh, yes I did. I hated The Shining. Hated it a lot. I often get flack for speaking my mind about this film because, for some strange reason, this seems to be one of the most beloved horror films of all time. Despite the fact that it’s a boring-ass piece of turd. Stephen King himself hates the film (not that what the author thinks is what should sway you to like something or not, but since he’s backing my idea here, I’ll use it :-p ). The acting ranges from ok to WAY over the top to laughably bad (the bad being mostly from Duvall, her huge horse teeth doing nothing to soften the blow. Every time she was onscreen I had to cringe). Jack Nicholson acting like a deranged maniac for 2 hours does not make a film great.

 

Suspiria

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Yes, yet another fan favorite that I’m going to crap on. I warned you! :-p  A lot of my friends loved this so-called classic, and hail it as a masterpiece. Me? I could barely stay awake. The acting was so bad, I felt bad for the lead actress. And it just seemed to drag on and on. I’d rather have a tooth pulled then have to watch this again. Like Kubrick up there, I’ve never understood the appeal of Dario Argento. Sure, he made good use of the brand new Technicolour, but just because something looks pretty doesn’t make it automatically good. In fact, if you spend all your time on the pretty, you end up with Suspiria: a beautifully filmed piece of crap.

 

The Human Centipede

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So, I knew going into it that something called The Human Centipede wasn’t going to be a quality film. But there are limits to human stupidity, come on now. Your car gets a flat on a lonely stretch of road surrounded by woods. You get out and start walking to find someone to help. And you do this by… walking through the woods?? Why the hell would you even consider leaving the road? And these girls just have the worst luck on the planet. Flat tire, disgusting pervert, lost in the woods, heavy rain, and now crazy doctor guy. Who they tell they’re alone. (The correct answer to the “are you alone?” question posed by a creepy stranger, kids, is “no, 2 friends stayed with the car in case someone else drives by”.) And unfortunately, this was the best part of the film. It was disgusting, stupid and then asks us to care about these stupid people who basically had “serial killer bait” tattooed on their faces. Oh, and that inspiring speech the Japanese man gave about “going out as a human being!” and then slicing his throat open? Yes, yes, very touching… until you realize that he’s speaking Japanese. To a German and two American girls. No one understood a word of what he said. Maybe that would explain the shockingly hilarious look on the doctor’s face while he’s talking… So, no, no stars for this one. It’s nauseating, and doesn’t even have the grace to at least be interesting to apologize for it.

 

Drag Me to Hell

Drag Me to Hell

So this is probably the best of the films on this list, not that that’s really an honour of any kind. I went into this film expecting something really scary, I’d heard some good things. Then, almost as soon as it started, I regretted my purchase. I stared at the screen, face all screwed up in “are you serious?” incredulity. I understand the director’s love of practical effects, but at the same time, it’s not the 70’s anymore. More can be done with less. And, besides the dated effects, it was just… silly. The horror, instead of being scary, made me laugh, and really not in a good way. The old woman going all tae-kwon-do in the back of the girl’s car? And then getting stapled? And the thing with the goat? And the arm in the mouth? Ugh, I could go on, but I’d rather not. I’m trying to cut back on stuff that’s bad for me :-p

So, there’s my dirty dozen. Agree? Disagree? What are your most-hated horror films of all time? Let me know! And see you again soon 🙂

M.

Top 15 Episodes of Supernatural

Supernatural is one of my favourite shows, but I came into it surprisingly late. Season 5 was well under-way before I decided to give the show a chance, and that was just because my husband had borrowed the first 4 seasons on dvd from his brother. I had heard of it before then, but, even despite it being exactly the kind of thing that I love, I’d never been interested enough to watch it. With the dvd’s laying around, and my husband telling me how good it was, I finally decided to watch. And from the first scene in the Pilot episode, I was hooked. I watched those first 4 seasons in a few short weeks, then lamented the injustice of having to wait for new episodes every week. It’s lost some of it’s steam over the years (it should have stopped at 6 seasons, while it was still amazing), but it’s still entertaining. I’ve fallen behind on my Supernatural, though. I have so much stuff that I want to watch that I’ve only made it a bit more than halfway through season 8. I’ve also been in a very “nature documentary” mood lately, but I digress. There were plenty of episodes to chose from, but I was finally able to whittle it down to 15. The episodes are in approximate order. I can’t really say for certain which episode is my all-time favourite, so I just quickly put them in an order that looked about right. So without further ado, here are the top 15 episodes of Supernatural.

 

15 – Changing Channels, season 5 episode 8

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The Trickster traps Sam and Dean in a TV world where they have to act out their roles to make it out. They navigate through a bunch of different genres from doctor and cop dramas to sitcoms and genital herpes commercials. At the end they find out that Loki isn’t Loki at all, but the Archangel Gabriel, and he wants the brothers to accept their fate as vessels for his brothers. I loved Gabriel, and was very, very upset to see him go. I keep hoping the writers will find a way to bring him back. This is Supernatural, after all. Nothing really stays dead.

 

14 – Monster Movie, season 4 episode 5

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A small town celebrating Oktoberfest is under assault from several different monsters; or so it would seem. Sam and Dean investigate a “vampire attack” that looks like a classic Dracula did the job. Knowing that vampires have a full row of fangs, and not just 2 as the victim showed, the brothers are perplexed. Things get even weirder as more deaths occur, each molded after a classic horror movie monster. They find the culprit is a shapeshifter, who’s loneliness drove him to try recreate his favorite films, complete with victims and a damsel in distress. Great, fun episode. Filmed in black and white, for that authentic old movie feel, hehe.

 

13 – The Curious Case of Dean Winchester, season 5 episode 7

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Dean plays poker with a warlock where the chips aren’t worth money, they’re worth years of life. While trying to win Bobby back his life, Dean looses 50 years, and ends up almost 80 years old. While the much aged Dean and Bobby try find the warlock’s DNA for a spell, Sam puts it all on the line, playing the warlock for Dean’s years. I liked this episode not just for the fun of seeing Dean react to his current state (which is pretty awesome by itself), but that the “bad guy” isn’t really bad. He’s not exactly good, but he’s not evil. He doesn’t cheat at poker, but let’s just say 900 years of playing has made him damn near unbeatable. I liked that they portrayed him like that, not evil, just a guy.

 

12 – Hollywood Babylon, season 2 episode 18

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Posing as PA’s, the brothers investigate a death and ghostly sighting on the set of a horror film. After the first sighting is proved to be a hoax publicity stunt, a real death occurs, and Sam hits the Net hoping to find any links to the set. I’m not sure why I like this one so much, but I do. I guess I like the idea of a haunted horror film.

 

11 – Dark Side of the Moon, season 5 episode 16

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Sam and Dean are shot and killed. You’d think that would be the end of the series, but of course, this being Supernatural, it’s not. The brothers end up in Heaven, where they find Ash and Pamela. On the run from Zachariah, they try to find the angel Joshua, who is rumoured to be the only one who’s able to talk directly to God. Once they find him, they are deflated to find out that God won’t help, that he doesn’t really care. Any opportunity to see the boys happy is a good episode. I miss good old Sam and Dean stuff. They’ve had so much stuff happen to them and they keep creating wedges between the brothers, it’s a wonder that they speak to each other at all anymore.

 

10 – Heart, season 2 episode 17

heart

Sparks fly when Sam is assigned guard duty to the lovely Madison, who the brothers believe is in danger of a werewolf attack. The ending of this episode is absolutely abysmal, I still can’t believe they did that to poor Sam. It has me in tears every time I watch it.

 

9 – Mystery Spot, season 3 episode 11

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You wouldn’t think that Dean dying would make for perfect comedy material, but it does. This is both one of the funniest and one of the tensest episodes of the whole series. While investigating a so-called “Mystery Spot”, Dean is shot and killed. After he dies in Sam’s arms, Sam snaps awake, only to find himself waking to the day that just happened. He goes through the day again, increasingly confused, and makes a different call for investigating the mystery spot, one that won’t get Dean killed. Dean dies again, however, and as soon as he does, Sam is once again back in bed, waking up on tuesday morning. The montage of Dean’s deaths, despite the subject matter, is freaking hilarious. He gets killed by everything from a dog to a falling piano to a “funky” tasting sandwich. Turns out the Trickster is behind this, to show Sam that he’ll have to go it alone, after Dean’s deal ends.

 

8 – Bitten, season 8, episode 4

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This is the only entry from the last two seasons (well three now, I guess, since season 9’s well underway). I’ve been less than impressed with the last seasons. There have a been a few good stand-alone episodes, but the seasons as a whole are pretty meh. But still, pretty meh Supernatural is still better than most of the drivel that’s on TV now. I’ve seen some of the stuff my mom tapes and ugh! It ranges from “meh” to “horrifying”. Anyways… I’m getting side-tracked again. So here they decided to tackle the “found-footage” genre that’s so popular right now (and this needs to stop. No really, we’ve had enough.) I’m not a huge fan of this, unless it’s done right. And this one was. We follow a cute geek, Brian, and his roommate / best friend, Michael. They meet a cute girl, Kate, and both fall for her, she picks Michael. Being film students, they’re making a film about life in a small town, and they’re bringing their cameras wherever they go, filming everything. Michael is bitten one night while walking through a park. He tells Brian and Kate, but no one else. Sam and Dean are seen in the film through the students’ eyes; two FBI agents investigating the recent deaths in the area, where the heart had been removed. Brian gets jealous of Michael’s newfound “powers”, and begs him to bite him too. They really hit the nail on the head with this one. Both the drama and the horror were very effectively done. They found some good little actors to play the students, which is good. Good acting is always important, but even more so in a found-footage film.

 

7 – Dead Man’s Blood, season 1 episode 20

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Supernatural‘s take on vampires, of course it’s on this list! I don’t particularly like the rows of fangs they’re sporting, but the rest of the mythos is great. I’m not one of those who gets offended if the vamps don’t burn in the sunlight, so that part didn’t bother me. The only thing that bothered me is the same thing that bothers me in countless other vampire films and shows: the fact that (in this episode, anyways) being turned equals automatically being evil, there’s no choice. They changed it in future vamp-centric episodes (for which I was very glad), most notably in the season 6 episode Live Free or Twi-Hard (which was thisclose to being on this list, such an awesome episode), in which Dean is vampirized. But in this episode, a woman and her husband are kidnapped by a group of vamps. The husband is killed, the wife gets turned. She’s still tied down when Sam and Dean sneak through the lair to find the Colt, but as soon as she wakes, while Sam is untying her, she yells alerting the others that there’s an intruder about. So, what, now that she’s a vampire she doesn’t care that they just murdered her husband? I don’t care if you’ve granted me the gift of eternal life, if you killed my husband, I’m not going to be on your side! I prefer the type of vampire that remains who he/she was before being turned. I like the conflict of who you used to be versus what you have to do to live now. But, of course, there are many, many more films and shows with automatically evil vamps than without, so I do like it anyways. Also, the lead vamp is extra yummy. Oh yeah.

 

6 – Lazarus Rising, season 4 episode 1

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Our introduction to Castiel. Wonderful, beautiful, angelic Castiel. Pulled out of Hell, Dean wakes up in a pine box under the ground. Panicking, he’s finally able to dig himself out. He finds himself perfectly healthy and unhurt, except for a hand-shaped mark on his upper arm. He goes to find Sam, who, after the original shock of seeing Dean alive and not a demon, is over-joyed to have his brother back. But Dean doesn’t seem to have come back alone, as he’s being ambushed by an unseen entity. They consult a psychic friend of Bobby’s and she holds a seance to find out who, or what, pulled Dean out of Hell. Imagine their surprise when they find out it wasn’t a demon, but an angel who rescued Dean. The first time we see Castiel, with the lights exploding, and the lightning flashes, and those giant wings… ah, leaves me weak in the knees every time.

 

5 – What Is and What Should Never Be, season 2 episode 20

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While hunting a Djinn, Dean is transported to a world in which his mother didn’t die in that fire. His father is dead, but he died of a stroke, nothing supernatural. He’s not as close with Sam as he was, but Jessica is alive and they’re getting married. Dean has a beautiful girl of his own, who apparently loves him completely. Dean, at first, is over-joyed to live in a world with no demons. But his happiness is put on hold when, after doing some research, he finds that all the people he and Sam and their father saved are all dead now, since the Winchesters aren’t hunters here. He has to make a choice: find the Djinn to undo the “wish” so that all those people get saved, or stay in this world with his family intact.

 

4 – Sex and Violence, season 4 episode 14

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“Strippers, Sammy! An actual case, with strippers!” So says Dean at the beginning of this episode, where the brothers are following the trail of a seductive Siren. She feeds on love and devotion, and she’s making men kill their wives to show their devotion. A young FBI agent assigned to the case joins Dean on his hunt, while Sam “consults” with a local doctor. Which one is the Siren? Soon enough, of course, both brothers are under her spell and she wants them to fight over her. To the death.

 

3 – Something Wicked, season 1 episode 18

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Following their father’s directive, the brothers head to a town where children are falling into comas with no apparent cause. Dean recalls a similar case from his childhood, a Shtriga, where Sam was nearly a victim and it was able to get away. John sent Dean there because he knew Dean felt bad about letting it get away the first time, and would want to get it himself. After his little brother is hospitalized, the motel manager’s son lets Dean use him as bait for the creature.

 

2 – Asylum, season 1 episode 10

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Supernatural-does-House-on-Haunted-Hill is how I’d describe this episode. And it does it well. A boy and his girlfriend are attacked after sneaking into the supposedly haunted asylum, but lucky for them, Sam and Dean are there, too. There are spirits everywhere, but they’re only trying to help to stop the doctor who also died here. Sam is lured into the basement by a phone call from not-really-Dean, and comes face to face with the doctor. Under the doctor’s rage spell, Sam shoots Dean full of rock salt then goes for the real gun…

 

1 – Provenance, season 1 episode 19

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It’s no wonder that the top 3 episodes in the list are from season 1, it’s still the best one. Both Pilot and Bloody Mary (episodes 1 and 5) were almost in the list too, but I decided to give the other seasons a chance. After discovering that all the owners of a particular painting were killed, Sam and Dean investigate an art dealership. Sparks fly when Sam meets the dealer’s beautiful daughter, Sarah, and he asks her out on a date. Horrified when the painting they’d thought destroyed was back in one piece, the boys go to the latest owners house, with Sarah in tow, to hopefully save her. The ghost in question is the little girl in the painting, Jodelle Ferland giving us her very best “creepy dead kid”, which she does so well (see exhibits A and B, Silent Hill and Cabin in the Woods).

So, that’s it. Took me much longer than I’d anticipated to finish this one, I kept on blocking while I was trying to write. Ever happen to you that suddenly you’re just staring blankly at the screen, mind empty? Well that’s been happening to me all morning. I dunno if it’s cause I’m tired, or what, but just getting these words out was incredibly tasking. So you’d better enjoy them!! Hehe. Like I said up top, I’m not sure all the episodes are in very real order, but that’s the basic of it.

M.

30 Day Horror Challenge (in 6 Days): Days 21 to 25

Just two days left!! Let’s go!

Day 21 – Best Horror Franchise: Scream

scream

So, I had a bit of trouble coming up with the answer to this one. There are franchise films that I liked a lot more than Scream, as good as it was, but the problem is, as with most franchises, the first film is great, and then the rest suck. So while Nightmare on Elm Street is still one of my favourite horror films, I can’t say that it’s the best franchise, because most of the sequels sucked. The same thing happened with Saw. Everything good about that first film was sucked dry and robbed of all life in the 3000 or so sequels that came after. So even though Scream‘s sequels were nowhere near as good as the first one (especially the second one), I can still say that I liked all the films in the franchise. I don’t think there’s a single other horror franchise that I can say the same thing of.

 

Day 22 – Best Death Scene: Blind Mag, Repo! The Genetic Opera

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This category was especially hard to choose. The number of horror films I’ve seen is quite staggering, so that means that death scenes are as numerous as the stars. There have been so many cool ones, that choosing just one favorite is impossible. There have been hilarious ones (Pee Wee’s death in Buffy the Vampire Slayer gets me every time), scary ones, gross ones, quick deaths, slow deaths, messy deaths, clean deaths… the list goes on and on. So what I did was choose the first cool one that came to mind, and after flipping through the dozens of generic deaths that popped into my mind, I settled on this one: Blind Mag’s suicide/murder from Repo! The Genetic Opera (which, if you haven’t seen it already, you need to, right now). A little hard to describe, Repo is a goth musical, the story of a chronically ill girl who lives in a world where transplanted organs can be repossessed if the patient is unable to pay for them, and a world where surgery is the fashion craze. Sounds weird, I know, but it’s amazing. There are many deaths deaths in the film, but the one that stands out the most is Blind Mag’s, an opera singer who’s blind eyes were replaced with cybertronic ones years ago. But Mag has had enough being the company’s puppet, and decides to break her contract, knowing full well that her eyes will be taken from her, and not kindly. After a beautiful stage performance ending with her being lifted from the stage by a harness, she simply states that she would rather be blind, and as an ultimate “fuck you” destroys her very expensive eyes by poking them out with long claws on her fingers, effectively committing suicide before the repo man can get her. A moment after her eyes are gone, her harness is cut, and she plummets to the stage, ending up impaled on part of the scenery. It’s horrible, yet strangely beautiful, and very memorable, which is why I chose it for this list.

 

Day 23 – Best Quote from a Horror Film: From Dusk Till Dawn

from dusk till dawn

Another category that was hard to decide on. Horror movies are often known for their snappy dialogue (ok, good horror movies are often known for their snappy dialogue), so choosing just one quote was hard. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go for a classic quote or something obscure, something funny or something serious, something light or something tense. So as with the death scene, I just let my mind wander for a moment, and picked the first cool one that came to mind. This time inspiration came from Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino‘s From Dusk Till Dawn. It’s the end of the film, and our hero and the girl are the last two standing after a night-long battle with vampires in the Mexican strip club the Titty Twister. Seth’s contact finally arrives with sun, and after the doors to the club get thrown wide open, the remaining vampires burst into flame and explode. The contact, intelligent individual that he is, asks “So what were they? Psychos?” to which Seth famously answers: “Do they look like psychos? Is that what they look like? They were vampires! Psychos do not explode when sunlight hits them, I don’t give a fuck how crazy they are!”

 

Day 24 – Best Serial Killer Film: The Silence of the Lambs

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I love serial killers. I’ve got this weird, morbid fascination with them. I watch a lot of true crime stuff, read true crime books, and of course, I love serial killer fiction as well. But, to be specific, not slasher stuff, “real” serial killer fiction. Stuff like Friday the 13th, Halloween or Texas Chainsaw, while technically about serial killers, are not the kind of films I mean (those bore me). I mean films like Mr Brooks, Seven, The Frozen Ground, Psycho, Frailty, Zodiac, Copycat, The Raven, Clay Pigeons, From Hell, Identity, Natural Born Killers (even though I didn’t like it), and, of course, the TV show Dexter. But the best of the best is still, even 21 years later, The Silence of the Lambs. Hannibal Lecter and Buffalo Bill are still two of the creepiest serial killers ever to be captured on film, and it’s still, to my knowledge, the only horror film not only to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture, but to win it. And it was very much earned. I don’t think there’s a horror fan on the planet that hasn’t seen it, but if by chance you haven’t, do so.

 

Day 25 – Best Holiday Horror Film: Ginger Snaps

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When people think holiday horror, the first thing they think of is Christmas. So I decided to do something different and choose another holiday (mostly because I couldn’t really think of a good Christmastime horror movie :-p ). I chose Halloween, because it’s my favorite holiday of the year, and has been since I was a kid. Despite the ton of gifts you get at Christmas as a kid, I’ve always preferred Halloween. I loved dressing up (still do), even if I didn’t go trick-or-treating. And there are many more horror movies set during Halloween, for obvious reasons. After thinking about it for a while, I decided to go with the Canadian film Ginger Snaps for this category. It’s fun, it’s bloody, it’s smartly written, well acted and has cool practical effects. Werewolf films are hard to do without getting schlocky, but Ginger Snaps managed just fine. Also, Katherine Isabelle is a fox. Phew. And she loves making horror films, good news for us pervy horror fans!

 

One day left, so stay tuned!!

M.